This is one of those books that I should have read a long time ago, primarily because I was assigned it in an English class I took in college, and though I should have read it at that time I didn't. Yet the more I think about it it was probably for the best. Had I read it then I wouldn't have appreciated the book to the degree I do now. I would not have understood, for example, the degree to which it was a work of its time,with its tale of youth violence reflecting the growing anxieties of people in the 1960s with the coming baby boom generation and the gap between them and their outnumbered elders. Reading it as a younger man, though, I may also not have recognized his message about how we can outgrow the folly of youth, something that I appreciate better with the fullness of time. It is because of the perspective today that I can appreciate just how good of a novel this is, even if Burgess himself apparently resented being recognized for his above other works he wrote.